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Woman sentenced in bugged diaper bag case, but plans appeal

By The Associated Press   |  Posted Jan 29th, 2016 @ 6:45am


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A woman who pleaded guilty to bugging a diaper bag to monitor conversations between her ex-husband and their children has been sentenced to home confinement and probation.

The Standard-Examiner of Ogden reports that a lawyer for 38-year-old Teri Anne Smith says she’ll appeal the case after her sentencing on Thursday.

Attorney Rebecca Skordas says Smith recorded the conversations in 2012 because she thought one of her children was in danger of abuse, so her actions weren’t illegal.

Judge Robert Dale denied that argument in 2014 when he refused to dismiss the case. He said Thursday that Smith wrongly took the law into her own hands.

He sentenced Smith to 90 days of home confinement and three years’ probation.

Prosecutors disputed her abuse allegations, and no charges were filed against Smith’s ex-husband.

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DRAPER — Investigators are on the scene of an officer-involved shooting in Draper.

The shooting occurred around 8:45 a.m. near the intersection of 11600 South and 120 East in the Cranberry Hill subdivision. Details are sketchy, but West Valley police spokeswoman Roxanne Vainuku confirmed the shooting involved one of that department’s officers.

Units from South Jordan, Draper and West Valley City were present at the scene of the shooting, which seemed to involve a black vehicle parked on the street. A neighbor confirmed that a West Valley police officer lives in the area, but it was unclear whether that officer was involved in the shooting.

West Valley Police Chief Lee Russo arrived on the scene shortly after 9:20 a.m. No information about possible injuries was immediately available.

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HOLLADAY — A suspected serial bank robber shot himself in the leg when he wrestled an officer’s gun away Tuesday night.

Two officers were staking out at a Fresh Market grocery store, 3865 S. 2300 East, Tuesday night, believing the Wells Fargo branch inside was a possible target for a man suspected of robbing six banks and a convenience store, Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said.

“He had brandished a gun in all of these robberies. They had been violent robberies, and the fear was that these robberies were going to get more violent,” Hoyal said.

The officers spotted a man matching the suspect’s description enter the store and head toward the bank just before 7 p.m. As the officers approached, the man turned around and headed back outside.

When the officers contacted the man outside, he began to struggle against both of them, managing to free one officer’s gun from its holster.

“Our officer did everything he could to keep his hand on that gun and keep it pointed in a safe direction, so as to not get shot, let the other officer get shot, or any other innocent citizens to get shot,” Hoyal said. “The actions our officers took were nothing less than heroic by keeping that gun pointed in a safe direction.”

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PRICE — Mayor Joe Piccolo has been charged with disorderly conduct following an emotionally charged verbal dispute with a group of instructors at Utah State University Eastern.

“I wasn’t alone in the argument, but my temper was not where it should be,” Piccolo said Tuesday. “Voices were raised — it was a heated argument — but there were no threats made.”

USU instructors ‘scared for their safety’

Statements provided by four USU Eastern cosmetology instructors to campus police the day after the Dec. 3 incident tell a different story.

In those statements, the women say Piccolo showed up in the school’s cosmetology department with his 22-year-old daughter to find out why she had received a B instead of an A on a major assignment. One instructor wrote that when she tried to offer an explanation, “(Piccolo) went into a verbal rage.”

“He jumped up from the chair, gritted his teeth and snarled in my face that he was going to ‘gut this (department) out,'” the instructor wrote.

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